Consortium appointed to develop Scotland’s first hydrogen train

Scottish hydrogen-powered trainScottish Enterprise, Transport Scotland and the Hydrogen Accelerator based at the University of St Andrews have appointed a consortium of companies to develop the first Scottish hydrogen-powered train. The consortium comprises companies involved in hydrogen fuel cell integration, rail engineering and functional safety.

The consortium will convert a retired Scotrail Class 314 locomotive into a platform for the hydrogen powered train. The project is being funded by Scottish Enterprise and Transport Scotland.

A demonstration is planned for November 2021, during COP26 hosted by Glasgow City.

Following demonstrations, the train will serve as a development platform for Scottish technology providers and academics as Scottish Enterprise and the Hydrogen Accelerator explore opportunities for Scotland’s hydrogen-enabled low carbon strategy.

Under the project, Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, where the consortium will be based, will provide engineering facilities and support for testing and public demonstrations.

The consortium will be led by Arcola Energy, a hydrogen fuel cell integration specialist, and will draw on the expertise of world-leading rail engineering and safety experts to deliver full system design and integration based on Arcola’s A-Drive technology platform.

The project is supported by rail engineering and safety experts Arup and Abbott Risk Consulting to form an integrated delivery team, with Aegis providing regulatory third-party verification.

Arcola Energy will develop the technology platform for the train’s new powertrain from its planned new Scottish base. Arcola’s existing A-Drive platform will be extended to meet rail safety and compliance requirements, enabling the consortium to significantly reduce development time and cost to deliver a complete hydrogen powered solution in just 10 months.

The consortium includes:

  • Arcola Energy, project lead responsible for hydrogen fuel cell system engineering, design and integration, and project demonstration;
  • Arup which will provide specialist rail engineering expertise for technical concepts, high-level design and safety strategy. Arup’s Edinburgh office will also work with the Hydrogen Accelerator to chart the route to mainline deployment of hydrogen powered trains across Scotland;
  • Abbott Risk Consulting, based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, will deliver specialist product development compliance and health and safety management;
  • Aegis Certification Services will provide third party safety certification and compliance verification.

Arup will use the learnings from the project to develop a roadmap to roll out hydrogen trains to support the decarbonisation of Scotland’s network. Abbott Risk Consulting (ARC), part of the consortium, will bring functional safety, product development compliance and health and safety management expertise to the consortium. Aegis Certification Services brings in-depth knowledge of UK rail industry certification and approvals processes. The company will provide third party safety assessment and compliance verification to deliver the Scottish hydrogen-powered train and associated infrastructure.



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